SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Illinois Conservation Foundation and several co-sponsors will be conducting a youth/women’s wingshooting clinic Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19 at the Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area (SFWA). In addition, the IDNR is sponsoring wingshooting clinic sessions for hunters Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2 at the Des Plaines SFWA.
The Youth/Women’s Wingshooting Clinic is an introductory clinic designed for girls, boys and women interested in learning to shoot or improving their ability to shoot a shotgun at moving clay targets. On Saturday, boys and girls in the 10-18 age group participate, while women of any age, as well as girls 10 years and older participate on Sunday. Thanks to sponsor support, this youth/women’s clinic is provided at no cost to participants.
Youth/Women’s wingshooting clinics are about learning to safely shoot a shotgun at a moving target with reasonable reliability. The clinic starts with a shotgun safety presentation at 10:00 a.m., followed by a short small-group hands-on shotgun orientation session with each group’s wingshooting instructor. These clinics are taught by instructors certified by the IDNR and/or the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA). Lunch is provided for participants, and the afternoon is spent in the field shooting clay targets until about 4:00 p.m.
The Hunters Wingshooting Clinics will consist of two 4-hour wingshooting sessions each day. Morning sessions run from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., and afternoon sessions run from 1:00 until 5:00 p.m. The clinic sessions will be taught by instructors certified by the IDNR and/or the NSCA. The clinics are designed primarily to improve the wingshooting skills of hunters. However, these wingshooting clinics are not for hunters only. Anyone 12 years of age or older who wants to improve their shotgun shooting skills can attend. Shooting students in the 12-15 age group need to be at least in the novice shooting skill category and be accompanied by an adult participant to register for the hunters wingshooting clinic.
Hunters Wingshooting Clinics are hands-on and include extensive live fire at a variety of clay target presentations on sporting clays courses specially-designed to represent typical hunting scenarios. The sporting clays course this spring will be laid out along the tree lines and cover fields near the Des Plaines SFWA site headquarters on the west side of Interstate 55.
The participant-to-instructor ratio is four-to-one. Typically, participants are matched with others of similar shooting ability. There will be a short briefing about shotgun safety and handling and on-range safety at the start of each session.
Advanced registration is required. Registration forms for the Des Plaines SFWA Wingshooting Clinics can be accessed at: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/recreation/wingshooting/Pages/default.aspx.
Hunters may register for the Saturday afternoon, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 morning and afternoon sessions until Wednesday, May 29. The Saturday morning session on June 1 is full.